More than 150 chemicals are now regularly used to enhance the characteristics of the clothes we wear each day. Some of these chemicals are demonstrated carcinogens, or capable of reproduction, nervous, and endocrine system dysregulation. Others are allergenic or irritating. And even when we wash the fabric and the chemicals are eventually removed, they linger on our non-laundered fabrics (like our sofa or curtains) or get into our water systems after washing. What this tells us is that even if we go plastic-free or switch to recycled plastics in the fashion industry, it won’t fix the chemical problem. That’s why one company by the name of Evolved By Nature has developed what they call “Activated Silk,” a natural alternative to the current petrochemical finishes that can be used for a variety of performance-enhancing, like moisture wicking and color retention. It’s made from silkworm cocoons discarded by the text industry, water, and salt. Evolved By Nature has raised $51 million to date, from investors including The Kraft Group, Roy P. Disney, and Jeffery Vinik. The company says Activated Silk is cost-competitive with existing chemicals, and it’s straightforward to adopt since it requires no disruption to a company’s existing manufacturing processes or equipment. The company now says it currently working with a range of undisclosed fashion brands to make its technology more available towards the end of this year.